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Administrators pleased with alcohol plan’s success

With 98 percent of the Comprehensive Alcohol Action Plan intact, the university has qualitative and quantitative data to show the plan has decreased alcohol use and abuse on campus.

University President Joanne Glasser and selected campus leaders began developing the plan in February 2008 and initiated it June 1, 2008, as a response to an increased recognition of alcohol-related problems at Bradley and college campuses nationwide.

High attendance and positive student feedback at Late Night BU events have been the plan’s largest success point, Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky said.

However, the number of students taken to the hospital for alcohol-related incidents, the number of alcohol-related Municipal Ordinance Violation tickets and the average BACs of students are also important, he said.

“All three of these, for this year ending May 31, have been smaller than the previous years,” Galsky said. “So we have initial quantitative data to show that it’s working. In the end, you need both qualitative and quantitative data.”

From two years ago to last school year, the number of drinking tickets decreased by 25 percent, students’ BACs decreased by .48 points and the number of students taken to the emergency room decreased from nine to four.

The university hosted a press conference in July, at which Glasser announced the plan’s success.

“This news is very encouraging,” she said. “It tells us our new strategies are having a positive effect on alcohol control.”

A brochure distributed to faculty and staff to help them spot alcohol abuse in students was the only addition to the plan during the summer, Galsky said.

The university is “fine-tuning” the quiz students must take to move off-campus and is also working on applying for two federal grants that will help with non-alcoholic campus events, he said.

These events include special activities such as laser tag, bringing in movies and comedians, and also Late Night BU.

Last year’s seven Late Night BU events were each attended by more than 800 students, and this year’s first event had more than 1,800 attendees, Galsky said.

“I left at 1:15 [a.m.] and people were still coming,” he said. “That started us off in a very good situation.”

Other aspects of the plan include discussing alcohol at summer orientation and during EHS courses, hiring a full-time coordinator of alcohol education and awareness activities, analyzing data from the American College Health Association Survey on Alcohol Use and Abuse and forming a community coalition to communicate alcohol concerns amongst leaders in the Peoria area.

According to the plan, students who receive drinking tickets must also complete online assessment programs and pay a $50 university-directed fine. Students who throw house parties where drinking violations are sanctioned must also pay a $250 fee.

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